Public Hearing Process
Once a completed application has been filed with the Department of Development Services, a date is set for a public hearing before the CPC. At least 10 days prior to the hearing, owners of the property within 200 feet of the area (as listed on the tax rolls) are notified by mail of the application. On the scheduled date, the CPC conducts the public hearing, considering testimony of the applicant and others wishing to speak about the proposed change. After considering all related factors, the CPC makes a recommendation to the Council. This recommendation may be to grant the requested change, to grant the change with amendments, or to deny the change.
If the CPC recommends approval of the request, the Council receives the application and recommendation, and a date is set for a second public hearing. The public hearing notice is published in the City’s official newspaper at least 15 days prior to the date of the hearing. As a courtesy, a notice is again mailed to surrounding property owners. If the CPC recommends denial of the request, the applicant has 10 days to decide whether appeal the CPC recommendation to the Council. If the applicant decides not to appeal to the Council, no further action is taken and the application is closed. If the CPC recommends denial of zoning change request and the action is appealed to the Council, an affirmative vote of three-fourths of all members of the Council (6 out of 7 members) is required to overrule the recommendation of the CPC.
Similar to the format of the CPC meeting, the Council conducts a public hearing allowing testimony of all interested parties. The Council may approve the request as recommended by the CPC, approve with modified conditions, table the request to a future date or deny the request. If a change in zoning is approved, an ordinance is drafted setting forth the applicable zoning conditions for consideration at the next business meeting. If the application is denied, no new application may be filed for one year unless the denial is without prejudice or the request is for a special permit, in which case no waiting period applies.
In reviewing an application, the CPC and Council will consider factors such as the surrounding zoning and land use, conformance with the Comprehensive Plan, appropriateness of the proposed use at the subject location, impact of the proposal on City services and provisions for buffering between incompatible land uses.
Presentation Before the Commission and Council
Both the CPC and the Council appreciate interest shown by citizens in attending a hearing. In speaking before either body, guidelines should be observed to allow all presentations to be made without delaying the hearing. In general, the CPC allots a total of 15 minutes for all speakers in favor of an item and the same amount for those in opposition. The Council typically allows five minutes per speaker. The proceedings are recorded on tape as a means of maintaining a record of the hearing. Spokespersons should come forward in the Council Chambers and state their name and address clearly before beginning their remarks. Groups or organizations favoring or opposing a request are encouraged to appoint a spokesperson to present the common viewpoint before the CPC or the Council. Statements should be specific and factual; assertions, guesses or speculations should not be included in any testimony.
Council and Commission General Information
The Council is composed of seven elected citizens, who select one person among themselves to serve as Mayor. They also appoint the City Manager, the chief administrative and executive officer of the City. Generally, the Council conducts business meetings on the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 7:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall.
The Council appoints the CPC, composed of seven members and two alternates who are citizens of Richardson and serve without pay. Public hearings and other business items are considered by the CPC on the first and third Tuesdays of each month at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall.
Meetings of both the Council and CPC are open to the public and citizens are welcome to attend. The agendas and staff reports for the Council and CPC meetings are posted on the City’s web site on the Saturday prior to the meeting.
Unable to Attend the Meeting?
Any person who is unable to attend a Council or CPC meeting but wants to express his or her opinion is encouraged to submit written correspondence to the Development Services Department at the address provided at the bottom of this notice. In lieu of directly contacting a Council or Commission member, please submit comments to the Development Services Department so they can become part of the record and provided to all members in advance of the meeting.